Interview with L Tait

What are your five favorite books, and why?
Tough one! I loved Robert Tressel's 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' which was so good I read it twice, because it's all about what happens during the course of a year in a decorating firm, and this reflects life in general for the working man earning a crust, but it covers politics, trying to make ends meet with very little money, social issues, and it's all done so beautifully. Nineteen Eighty Four, Coming Up for Air, and Animal Farm, all by George Orwell, I loved for different reasons. NEF covers an alternative, and disturbing reality, subscribing to the 'square peg, round hole', philosophy, and what happens to misfits who don't conform to the regime. CUFA is about a man who goes back, many years later, to the place where he grew up, and having done that myself, I can relate to how unsettled the protagonist feels when he sees what time has done to his childhood home. AF is clever because Orwell uses animals to convey the different types of characters, from those in power to those who have to adhere and accept the rules laid down before them, and it's a very good story. And, all of the Sherlock Holmes books, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Very cleverly written, I love the protagonist and trusty sidekick, and, out of all of the mysteries, I only managed to work out the ending to one of them!
Describe your desk
I don't actually have one! I tend to write everywhere! Sitting on the bus on my way to work, at work during my lunch hour, or, in bed, which is where I spent a great deal of my time writing my essays, and studying the coursework for my degree. It was all done on my time off, I wasn't being a slacker!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a respectable, middle class suburb, which greatly influenced the first book in the series, Frenemies, where Kris and Hazel meet for the first time. The school the story takes place in is, with some adjustments, largely based the one I used to attend, which is no longer there. Before its demolition, armed with a trusty camera, I went round there and took some photographs, so, you never know! They could be useful at a later date...
When did you first start writing?
Long ago! The series, I started writing around, let me see now, 2001, or thereabouts, and I started it on a Sharp electronic typewriter, which I still have to this day, and the eighth part was written on a PC in my local library! How times have changed! With the advent of self publishing, I had to go over them all using a laptop, and a program called Microsoft Works. So, been a lot of work, but I hope it's worth it!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Emmm, everything follows on from what's happened previously. I was going to end with book eight, but I left the door open for a possible ninth instalment, which is coming along, but, as I write on the hoof, once I hit a speed bump, or a plotting problem, I have to leave things for a bit. Like Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory, he solves a problem doing mundane, I get my best ideas when doing everyday tasks. I got my latest idea just looking at handbags online!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I get to be me in a fun, parallel universe! My book character reflects a braver, more exciting 'me'. Which is NOTHING like my real life! I get to play God, in a way, deciding the fate of a set of individuals thrown together by fate, and it's fun!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Achieving lazy on a Sunday, bacon rolls in tomato ketchup anyone? And I work, love music, and have kept a diary for over twenty years, amounting to seventy three notebooks and counting. I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to writing, and my notebooks are empirical evidence of my progress. Surprise Surprise, I also love reading and doing puzzles.
What do your fans mean to you?
Assuming I actually have any...everything! They are the lifeblood of my work, and motivate me to write more. But, as I have yet to receive any reviews for my work, I have to adopt the 'no news is good news' approach.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Hard to say, as I don't actually have any! I don't really advocate the 'hard sell' approach. I like to think that a potential reader has come across the work by chance, which is how all the best discoveries are made! Strong arming really isn't my style!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It's put my work out there, so to speak, and, I have to say, to the one person out there, so far, who has listed me as a 'favourite' author according to my dashboard stats...thank you! My philosophy on reviews is that people only feel compelled to write them if they either loved, or hated, an author's work. So, as my work hasn't received any thus far, maybe it's okay, and as people sometimes say re football scores...I'll take that.
What are you working on next?
Hot off the press was Go Figure! But, I am considering revisiting my ninth instalment. However, I have a plotting problem to overcome re this!
What is your writing process?
It's pretty much the same approach I used when I was writing essays while studying for my degree. I'll do a bit of brainstorming and get some rough ideas on paper. Then, stage two is the rough draft of the work, which I do in sections, in a notebook, before the final stage, in which I revise what I've written and key it into the laptop, but, during this final stage, I make corrections and improvements on the hoof, so to speak, and, voila! That's it! Three is the magic number, as the song goes!
How do you approach cover design?
I like to use a feature, or something that symbolises as the main theme of the story. For example, book three in my Van Helsen series has sheet music on the cover, and this has something to do with the introduction of a new character, and the music is a clue as to what their profession is, if you get my meaning. It does relate to something else though, that happens later on in the story.
What do you read for pleasure?
Occasionally, I like the odd Mills and Boon novel, particularly those of the vintage genre. I've found that some do really stand out, and are worthy of a second reading. But, I tend to be inspired by things that I see on T.V, or films, or extracts from publications I read online. That's how I came across the Millennium Trilogy, I heard an interview with a Formula One racing driver who was talking about it, and I was curious, so I read it! In a BBC Four documentary on Scandinavian crime fiction, I got into the Jo Nesbo books, and, at the time of writing this, I'm reading 'Mastery' by Robert Greene. I LOVED 'The 48 Laws Of Power', which he also wrote, among others. I've also read a number of autobiographies, written by comedians such as Lee Evans, Michael McIntyre, Alan Carr, Frank Skinner, and Peter Kay. In a Radio 2 interview, I also came across the book, 'A Million Years In A Day', by Greg Jenner, which examines the origins of human customs, through the ages, but timetabled into a daily routine. Well worth a look!
Are there any promotions running at the moment?
Frenemies, book one in the sequence, is on a 'reader sets price' arrangement, and Home Truths, book two, has a coupon running on it till the end of September, it's twenty percent off and has a limited amount of redemptions set on it, so, that's it!
Published 2017-09-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 60,700. Language: English. Published: July 10, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
It's her move... Life is returning to normal for Kris and Hazel Van Helsen...until Hazel makes an unexpected discovery, which makes her question whether she knows Kris as well as she thinks she does. A past act of revenge involving Morten Hardanger has disastrous consequences, and an opportunity to escape the situation presents itself...leading Hazel further into danger...
Common Sense Is Not So Common...
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 30,360. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
From the mind that brought you 'Random Quest', 'School Daze!', 'Trivial Pursuits.' (and many more, which I'm not going to go into here!) is back, and ready to rock, with an all new,box fresh collection of observations recorded over the course of a mere month month! It's not so much a journey into the jungles of my subconscious, more of a road trip! So, fasten your seatbelts!
And Thereby Hangs A Tale!
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 30,420. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
The long awaited sequel to Random Quest. If you're thirsty for more of my memoirs, you've come to the right place! A freshly baked batch for you all to enjoy!
The Work Experience
Price: $2.30 USD. Words: 34,210. Language: English. Published: April 16, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire, Nonfiction » Inspiration » Personal inspiration
This quirky little novella is a humorous look at various aspects of the modern working world, as observed by your humble narrator! Covering a range of subjects from my experiences of truly horrible bosses, to the pitfalls of job seeking and interviews, along with some other fun things! Just to clarify, I have used aliases, not to protect the guilty, but , more for my own personal amusement!
Go Figure!
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,770. Language: English. Published: November 12, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
A smallish novella, as I try to make sense of the bizarre world that we are living in!
I'm Not As Green As I'm Cabbage Looking!
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 17,130. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Inspiration » Personal inspiration, Nonfiction » Philosophy » Contemporary philosophy
Thirsty for more from your humble narrator? Well, here's a fresh batch of observations for you all to enjoy! Well, if you enjoyed the other, and read beyond the samples, that is!
Just Saying...
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,560. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
Hi! I'm Perry Williams! The star of 'If Only!', which I didn't write, but, as I felt I could do a better job of relating my world to you, I fired my writers! So, sit back, and relax as I talk you through my universe! Well, I'll give it a go! And, remember, in true DJ stylee, the phrase that pays...Just saying...
Short Story Central
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,140. Language: English. Published: September 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mashups
Basically, a short story treble! (That's three short stories for those of you who aren't into footie speak!) I hope they keep you amused for a while!
Trivial Pursuits
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 19,690. Language: English. Published: August 24, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Life stages / general
Just when you thought it was safe to come out from behind your sofas, I'm back with even more of my memoirs for you all to enjoy! But arranged into themes to make your lives (and mine!) a little bit easier! Oh, the horror...
Miscellaneous Me!
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 19,220. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Life stages / general
Another collection of personal memoirs from my famous notebooks! One of the 'three is the magic number' novellas, dedicated to my recollections. Just one thing, though...if you didn't like 'Here We Go Again!' leave the tour now! But, if you did...stick around!
Here We Go Again!
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 20,800. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Life stages / general
A novella of memoirs taken from the numerous notebooks I've kept over the years! Fasten your seatbelts! It's going to be a rollercoaster ride through the thoughts of 'Your Humble Narrator'.
Identity Crisis
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,990. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Kris and Hazel Van Helsen, in the wake of a devastating personal tragedy, decide to go on holiday. But...what begins as a holiday in a popular seaside resort, becomes much more sinister, as they become involved in a tangled web of deceit, blackmail and murder. They encounter some familiar faces, a man with a surprising secret, and a shocking revelation puts Hazel in a difficult position...
School Daze!
Price: $2.00 USD. Words: 15,520. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Life stages / school age
A novella covering my high school years! As they happened such a long time ago, I feel ready to talk about it now! If your schooldays WEREN'T 'the happiest days of your life,' then, have at it! This is for you! Word of warning...this may also trigger memories of your own schooldays that you thought you'd managed to successfully forget! Just saying...
Keeping Secrets
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,650. Language: English. Published: July 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
Secrets. Everybody's got them, but, how good are they at keeping them. The opening night of the Art Exhibition has finally arrived, and the evening proves to be full of surprises for Kris and Hazel, as the appearance of Morten Hardanger sets the cat among the pigeons, and his actions lead to even greater problems for Hazel as time progresses. But...things aren't what they appear to be...
Satan's Game
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 36,550. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
As Kris Van Helsen prepares to take up his new role at Police HQ in Oslo, his disgraced predecessor puts him in a very difficult position, resulting in a highly publicised court case. A major problem concerning Hazel's past makes things even more complicated, along with the unexpected appearance of other blasts from the past. Will all this bring them closer together? Or... will it tear them apart?
Artistic Differences
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 36,960. Language: English. Published: July 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
Kris and Hazel Van Helsen, after surviving another catastrophe, think their nightmare is over. isn't. One of Kris's greatest enemies, is back, and Kris suspects that he's involved in some double dealing with Kris's future brother-in-law, Henrik, who has vanished, along with some valuable works of art. It's down to Kris and Hazel to find them. But they get more than they bargained for...
The Experiment
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 5,900. Language: English. Published: June 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
A novella containing some poems transcribed from some seriously old notebooks! I wrote them for a hoot...but might have taken it a little too seriously, lol!
Loose Cannon
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 39,510. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
So, just when they thought it was safe to say, 'It's finally over', the Van Helsen Curse strikes again, and Kris and Hazel , thanks to Cassandra, Kris's ex wife, are back in Norway, and their mission leads them to Holmenkollen, where Kris meets with an old adversary from his past, which results in the ultimate showdown between them. But, there can only be one winner...
If Only!
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 19,920. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Hi! Perry Williams here, bringing you a faithful account of what happened up the local ice rink every week when my Dad, younger sister and I got together! We met some fun people during those trips to the rink! And some right odd bods! Let Lilian and her friend,talk you through it, as I'm too busy to write books! I just gave them some notes and told them to get on with it! As you were! I'm offski!
Random Quest
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 38,020. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
A collection of extracts from my memoirs, which have been ongoing since 1995! That's over twenty years of my life I am not getting back!
You set the price! Words: 47,790. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
When sixteen year old Hazel Woodford begins a new term at school, she meets twenty nine year old Miles Hayworth, who she thinks is a newly qualified English teacher. Their attraction to each other is instantaneous, and romance blossoms between them. But all is not as it seems. Miles is a man with a secret past, which puts Hazel in danger, as it comes back to haunt him. Will their love survive?
The Reunion
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 43,090. Language: English. Published: June 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Kris Van Helsen and his fiancée, Hazel Woodford, having witnessed a terrible tragedy in Bergen, return to Scotland, and slowly, life returns to normal. But, an unforeseen event sees them returning to Bergen once more, and there's a nasty surprise awaiting the couple in the form of a revenge plot designed to destroy Kris and his family. Will their enemies triumph? Or will Kris and Hazel stop them?
Home Truths
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 38,090. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
If you're searching for the truth...Twenty nine year old Kris Van Helsen, and his sixteen year old fiancée, Hazel Woodford, having faced a dangerous situation involving his best friend, Karl, and ex wife Cassandra, have to relive their nightmare as they give evidence at an official Inquiry. Kris has to face up to some home truths, and a meeting between Hazel and her arch enemy ends in tragedy...